Amarina Smith

Amarina Smith, a student of law and international relations, has been awarded a New Colombo Plan Hong Kong Fellowship.

Indigenous rights advocate Amarina Smith has been named the New Colombo Plan Hong Kong Fellow at the New Colombo Plan Scholarships presentation ceremony in Canberra.

The Griffith University student was awarded her fellowship by the Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP (photo below).

Each year the highest-ranked NCP scholar in each host location are named fellows.

“It’s a huge honour and this was unexpected,” said Amarina, a Bachelor of Laws and Government and International Relations student. “It’s a really great feeling to have my hard work so far acknowledged in this way.”

Amarina (19) is one of six Griffith students to be awarded a scholarship to study at leading universities in Japan, Hong Kong and China.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, Amarina Smith, Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd)






The full list is as follows:

Amarina Smith (Law/Government and International Relations)
Casey Macfarlane (Engineering/Business) Read Casey’s story
Estelle McCabe (Asian Studies) Read Estelle’s story
Grace Yee-Yan Yeung (Medicine) Read Grace’s story
Inez Botta-Stanwell (Law/Government and International Relations) Read Inez’s story
Monique Filet (Law) Read Monique’s story

Amarina will study at the University of Hong Kong next year. “I’m looking forward to expanding my knowledge of culture and in particular exploring the rights of ethnic minorities and how they are affected both in Australia and the Pacific region,” she said.

“Hong Kong has a history of issues with ethnic minorities and getting to study in a place that has that history will be interesting to experience.”

“It will give me the knowledge and understanding of how other countries have approached these issues and bring that back to Australia to help change the living circumstances and rights of Indigenous people.”


The scholarships, awarded by the Australian Government, recognise high-achieving students who show a commitment to their community and potential as a future leader.

It also provides students with an opportunity to enhance their cultural understanding and employment potential and to create lasting bonds in the region.

Amarina, who studied Mandarin at high school in Rockhampton, said she applied for the scholarship as she had always had an interest in Asia.

“The opportunity to study there and immerse myself in the culture was something that attracted me,” the Nathan campus student said.

Launched in 2013, The New Colombo Plan is an Australian Government initiative which aims to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific in Australia, by supporting Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the region.

The New Colombo Plan is a scholarships program which funds selected students for periods of study of up to one year. The program also includes internships and mentorships, as well as flexible mobility grant programs for shorter-term practicums and research. Each scholarship is worth up to $67,000.